Objective 1.1:   Expand and strengthen cultural institutions, including religious and social groups.



1.1.1    Support the organizational longevity of social, religious and cultural institutions by ensuring that such groups have a stable physical location in Japantown.


1.1.2    Increase the visibility of established and emerging organizations.

a.   Create an up-to-date directory, both print and electronic.

b.   Encourage joint- and cross-publicizing practices.

c.   Create a “community weekend” and open cbo’s to inform weekend visitors about services/entities available in Japantown.


1.1.3    Educate existing institutions and organizations toward incorporating the needs of children, youth, young adults and families in their overall planning to increase their constituent bases.


1.1.4    Use Peace Plaza as destination location for regular and frequent cultural and spiritual festivals and celebrations by coordinating with existing organizations to sponsor and organize.


Objective 1.2:   Encourage and promote location of Japanese/Japanese American arts, culture, entertainment and history, within Japantown.



1.2.1    Use the Koban to display a neighborhood map and a community calendar to arts, cultural events, classes and activities within Japantown.

a.   Enhance communication hub by posting multilingual information.

b.   Emphasize posting multigenerational activities.


1.2.2    Support the establishment of a permanent, affordable and professional cultural and performance facility in which community cultural groups as well as contemporary artists can create, perform, showcase and gather.

a.   Create professional-quality theater spaces with state-of-the-art technology equipped for theatre, multi-media and dance; both mainstage (700-1,000 seats) and black box (50-100 seats).

b.   Include classrooms; gallery and studio space for visual arts; workshop/studio space for performing and media arts.

c.   Provide shared administrative resources and office space for individual artists, emerging and established groups.

d.   Enhance inclusion of artists of all cultures through open residency and rental opportunities.


1.2.3    Promote and enhance arts and culture in Japantown.

a.   Encourage programs and activities geared toward children and youth.

b.   Support creation of art by community.

c.   Identify sites in Japantown, from vacant storefronts to booths in the Japan Center, to house exhibit space for various purposes such as display of local Pan Asian community artists.

d.   Provide businesses with art and artifacts for display.

e.   Program cultural and traditional arts (Taiko Dojo, traditional music, martial arts, ikebana, traditional classic Japanese dance, tea ceremony, arts demonstrations, etc.) throughout the year in Japan Center and the Peace Plaza.

f.    Program contemporary arts (live music, spoken word, dance, etc.) throughout the year in Japan Center and the Peace Plaza.

g.   Attract international artists to Japantown by providing a professional venue for performance.


Have a focal point –Peace Plaza-Atomic Bomb Memorial-place to hang 1,000 cranes-memory of Sadako Story-good story for school children-promote Peace without use of force or violence!


            Create permanent exhibit on interment camps at Peace Plaza next to WWII Atomic bomb memorial. –Or share Memorial Day a la Maya Lin.


J-town needs after-hours programming of cultural/traditional arts-most classes, events are inconvenient for working adults who commute to jobs outside of SF.


Cinema Arts- Korean Film Festival


Children’s film festival-maybe coordinate with NAATA? 


Utilize the outside of the cultural center (renovated area) to have more evening music performed (dancing) more colored lighting. Provide good security at these events.


1.2.4    Promote Japantown as a national destination for learning about the history of Japanese Americans.


a.   Encourage programs and activities geared toward children and youth.

b.   Encourage the public presence in Japantown of local historical resources, e.g., the

      National Japanese American Historical Society, the Japanese American National Library, and the Japanese American Archives.

c.   Develop and display material on the history of Japanese immigration after WWII.

d.   Create a Japantown historic and cultural walking tour that highlights key landmarks.


2.1.1        Create an audio headset program for self-guided walking tours and walking tour maps, in addition to training volunteer docents for guided walking tours.


            I don’t think that many people know that SF J-town is one of the three remaining J-towns in the U.S. Can we promote this somehow?


(I think and I saw) many Japanese foreign students picked up J-town or J Americans as their school paper topics. If we have a collection of these essays, I’m really interested in reading their thought.




Can this be incorporated with 2.1.6, an audio headset program for self-guided tour?


1.2.5    Develop relationships with established institutions to bring their work to Japantown.

a.   Identify sites in Japantown, from vacant storefronts to booths in the Japan Center, to house exhibit space for various purposes such as: secondary exhibits and related events of the National Park Service’s planned Golden Gateway Center for the Migration/Immigration of People to the Pacific Coast; satellite exhibits from the Asian Art Museum.

b.   Establish Japanese American National Museum remote terminal of existing relocation/camp project to promote youth and family cultural heritage awareness by providing computer space for hands-on genealogy research.

c.   Endorse continued presence of film festivals in Japantown (NAATA, SFIF).

d.   Facilitate relationship with Japan Consulate

·        Encourage Consulate’s locating cultural programming (films, speakers, etc.) and satellite information center in Japantown.

·        Arrange shuttle bus from J-town to the consulate of Japan? Then more people can participate their events. At the same time people come to J-town to get ride.


Objective 1.3:   Ensure inclusiveness of the ideas and values of the community’s multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-racial and multilingual or non-English-speaking members.



1.3.1    Find ways to break down barriers between different cultures that live and conduct business in Japantown.

a.   Encourage community communication (notices, signage, meetings) be made available to Japantown residents and workers in their primary languages.

b.   Investigate models for community mediation processes.

c.   Include support and programs for gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/questioning alternative youth and adult groups

d.   Recognize J-town’s importance as a Korean business center; broader training/ support/ maps/ brochures/ programs/ festivals to include these and other Asian groups who live/work here. Possibly thru links with Korean American C of C (in Seki-Lee Bldg. Post and Laguna) versus actual arm of the non-profit entity, for starters.

            e.   Present Task Force goals to the other communities (at their meetings) and get direct input


1.3.2    Support and promote activities that encourage interaction among different generations.


1.3.3    Encourage interaction with other communities.

a.   Extend PR to other communities’ publications and newsletters; encourage cross-promotion.

b.   Partner with other communities in activities.


1.3.4    Create point of contact/entry for anyone interested in accessing the community: to obtain information, find ways to participate, and access/provide resources


Other Goal 1 Suggestions:


Form a Nikkei Community Fund to increase philanthropy for all non-profits including the task force.

(If the national museum and national memorial can attract donations of tens of millions-can’t we draw nationally to support a living museum of our evolving Nikkei Culture?).                


Views on a Nikkei Community Foundation = For Raising Money NOW. Average age of Nisei is 80. Sansei’s -- participation? –Silicon Valley? (Wealth created-I realized the market dropped but some Sansei cashed in on options or own shares of high tech companies.


            Create an umbrella virtual J-town so people throughout the U.S. can go into a museum or find out restaurants or order Japan CD’s/Books or get resources, community calendar, etc.         


I like the idea of having maps and boards available for visitors who come to Japantown. It would be great if there were volunteer people (seniors and youth) who could put in time on the weekends to pass out these brochures and answer questions. People contact is very important in enhancing the Public Relations effort and making people feel more welcomed. It will be good for our youths to do community service in this way and feel more tied to the community.





Objective 2.1:   Strengthen visitor/tourist activity within Japantown.



2.1.2        Enhance the cultural identity and historic significance of Japantown through highly visible and artistic identifier signage.


How about make “J-town sticker” which targets tourists: fundraiser; visibility; opportunity to artists


2.1.4        Market Japantown through traditional regional, national and international tourism channels including the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, bus tour companies, tour guide publishers, travel agencies, etc.


2.1.5        Identify and publicize cultural events, activities and festivals located at landmark cultural institutions (like churches and temples) that are open to the public.


2.1.6        Help sponsoring agencies to publicize and revitalize existing community festivals: Cherry Blossom Festival, Nihonmachi Streetfair, Aki Matsuri (Autumn Festival), and Tanabata.


I think it’s a good idea for both JA’s and non-JA’s to learn a great cultural aspect of Japan, how Japanese values seasons and celebrate it.


2.1.7        Place public street maps and bulletin boards (electronic or non-) at key intersections in Japantown highlighting points of interest.


            I’d like to see an audio self-guided tour incorporated with historical landmark tour (1.2.4d)


            One of the grocery stores should sponsor cooking classes.


Objective 2.2:   Expand and strengthen participation in existing merchants group.



2.2.1    Hire a part-time multi-lingual staff person to support the existing Nihonmachi Merchants Association.


2.2.2    Develop regular and frequent group marketing and promotional activities in local and regional Japanese and tourism media sources.


More friendly requirement to obtain work visas for Japanese Nationals.  I have seen many energetic people who went back to Japan because they couldn’t get Visa; can propose special treatment for workers in J-town?


2.2.3    Promote consistent business hours during peak business demand hours.


2.2.4    Coordinate a business assistance program for ongoing members and a neighborhood business district orientation for new merchants.



Objective 2.3:   Attract and promote new businesses and investment, especially those businesses that promote products and services unique to the Japanese culture.


Encourage a small Japanese noodle stand to be opened in Buchanan Mall or the Peace Plaza, and to stay open late into the night!



2.3.1    Recruit and attract Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals interested in operating a business in Japantown.


            I would like to see new businesses related to Japanese Arts specially Craft Arts such as ceramics rather than commercials like restaurants. There are enough of them already.


2.3.2    Identify resources to attract young Japan-oriented entrepreneurs to Japantown to begin a new generation of small, community-based businesses and owners as economic stakeholders.


2.3.3    Encourage new business interests in the community that attract/serve children and families, youth and young adults.


2.3.4    Identify technical assistance for: a mentorship program to support new entrepreneurs and businesses in Japantown; to retain existing businesses at risk of closure; and to provide specialized workshops in starting a business venture for new entrepreneurs.


2.3.5    Provide incentives to property owners to aggressively market vacant storefronts to Japanese/Japanese-American-oriented businesses.


2.3.6    Attract a high-quality Japanese/Japanese American retailer to anchor the Japantown retail theme and attract more customers to support the existing businesses.


2.3.7    Work with the Japan Center mall owners to initiate retail carts and kiosk opportunities for small business start-ups.


Retail kiosk with crafts or food specialty items are a good idea. Children especially like to see things cooked or prepared in front of them.


Important consideration: keeping the area clean from trash and litter.


2.3.8    Investigate consumable needs of transient Japanese student/youth population.


2.3.9    Leverage the competitive advantages of Japanese and Bay Area high-technology companies by institutionalizing the “gray” tech market in Japantown, and attracting high-tech products, services and/or showrooms.


Objective 2.4:   Attract and promote businesses and investment, especially those businesses that promote products and services unique and desirable to the Japanese American culture.


2.4.1    Encourage Japanese/Asian Pacific Islander American professionals (e.g., dentists, optometrists, M.D.) to re-locate/locate their practices in Japantown.

a.       Outreach to Japanese/Asian Pacific Islander American professionals to investigate their needs.

b.      Encourage development/availability of above-ground-floor office space to support client-based practices.

c.       Create a co-operative opportunity for professionals to invest in the creation of a building/location.


Establish Japanese-American mental health services and link to Japanese American L/G/B/T/Q support, groups and programming.


2.4.2    Identify resources to attract young entrepreneurs to Japantown to begin a new generation of small, community-based businesses and owners as economic stakeholders.


2.4.3    Encourage new business interests in the community that attract/serve children and families, youth and young adults.


2.4.4    Explore attracting good/services that reflect Hawaiian culture.


            There are already plenty of Hawaiian culture goods and services in SF/Bay Area. We need a place for Japanese of Hawaiian culture-or Japanese from any other area of the globe who end up in SF Japantown, such as Japanese from Latin America.           


2.4.5    Attract businesses like coffee shops or art spaces that become destination places to meet/gather.


            I’ve heard some Japanese wanting to have a place like a coffee shop where you can meet and spend some time. Also, we would like to have an outdoor place (e.g. lawn, benches, a small park) where people can get together and enjoy their free time.


Objective 2.5:   Coordinate with local merchants association to develop and implement a marketing plan to promote Japantown locally, regionally and worldwide.


2.5.1    Create diverse marketing icons to identify the spectrum of Japantown’s cultural, historical, spiritual and commercial resources.


2.5.2    Utilize Japantown’s marketing icons to create high-quality commercial and educational products for marketing, visitor information and revenue-generation.


2.5.3    Educate existing businesses toward including children and families, youth and young adults in their overall planning to increase their client/customer bases.


2.5.4    Disseminate tourist information packages to tour guide publishers, bus tour companies and Japanese cultural organizations regionally, nationally and internationally.


2.5.5    Create an outreach campaign specifically targeted toward Japanese Americans.


2.5.6    Establish and maintain a Japantown web site for tourist information, local events schedule and e-commerce.


Objective 2.6:   Expand market support for retailing in Japantown, including securing a high foot-traffic, retail demand generator replacement strategy in the event of AMC Kabuki’s closure.


2.6.1    Continue direct communication with AMC Corporate to determine their commitment to AMC Kabuki.


2.6.2    Update existing movie theater with state of the art accommodations.


2.6.3    Investigate expanded use of unused areas of AMC Kabuki (e.g., 3rd floor office and unused office space).  Use one theater space for regular API movies or events.


2.6.4    Investigate other movie and cultural (music, live theater, performing arts, etc.) interest in establishment and expansion at the Kabuki Center.


2.6.5    Investigate feasibility of providing small active uses along the Fillmore Street frontage.


2.6.6    Develop relationships with existing places to meet, eat, and have coffee nearby.


I speak



2.6.7.   Find ways to meet needs of youth and families who have utilized Kabuki for entertainment, gathering place, etc., with API children’s programming as a means of bringing API families to the neighborhood.



            Adapt idea from Euro Disney, create badges like for people who work in J-town.


            Do you know how new SF Int’l Airport organized their opening day?! I think that J-town also can organize a similar special event!!


            Create special J-town passport and encourage people to get stamps from J-town located business.

Business opportunities/needs; Explore opportunities to show foreign films from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, etc. in addition to film festival showings.


Fillmore Street has some kind of special day to promote businesses on Fillmore Street (I saw their PR post card). Can we organize similar events?


 Suggest “Akihabara in J-town” – Japan has “Akihabara (high-tech retail)” image: “Silicon Valley” image of “High Tech” =  SF is near Silicon Valley and has Japan Town!!







Objective 3.1    Develop strategies and mechanisms for community control or influence of changes in land use, property, and business ownership within Japantown to promote changes that would benefit the community and to ensure that changes would have positive impact on the community.


3.1.1:   Engage the business and residential community in on-going planning and community building.

a.   Create or incorporate a community economic development organization.

b.   Strengthen Japantown Merchants Association.

c.   Strengthen communication between merchants and other community stakeholders (residents, business professionals, property-owners, workers).

d.   Include broad base of stakeholders (multi-generational, multi-lingual) in commercial district/economic development planning.


3.1.2:   Create a special neighborhood commercial district plan governing land use, zoning, density issues that supercedes the Redevelopment and City plans that adopts specific and relevant zoning code overlays for key Japantown parcels, including the AMC theater and Japan Center properties in addition to future in-fill sites.


3.1.3:   Ensure that commercial district plans or any economic development organizations be subjected to open discussions and public disclosures.


3.1.4:   Develop strategies and mechanisms to ensure “Next Generation” ownership and capacity to manage “community ownership”.

a.   Include training for new leaders with property management skills in the design of any land trust.

b.   Develop apprenticeship programs (to include entrepreneurial business management training) in order to preserve Japantown crafts and specialty stores.


In attempting to attract new and younger generations of business owners it’s important to share a vision of what we want J-town to look like and what kinds of businesses we want. I’d like to see the development of a user-friendly manual for interested parties that can be passed out at trainings. Young business professionals should also be in charge of recruitment because of their relevant networks. I’d also like to see the recruitment of pan-Asian owners to strengthen the diversity and vitality of the community.


Mentoring programs for teens to feel community ownership and pride. Having youth volunteer at map tables etc. with adult supervision.


Having youth directed activities (Kimochi/JCCCNC) run by youth. Sharing their culture with others.


We need to keep the children in mind. With the Bowling Alley gone, what is there to bring elementary and preschool children and their families to J-town? (Other than grocery shopping and eating at the restaurants). What activity is there for families other than going to the movies will bring families here?

Wish list of the use of the Bowling Alley Building. (Don’t say, “it’s not possible”).


3.1.5:   Explore creation of community-based land trust.



Objective 3.2    Expand, intensify and broaden the residential market in Japantown as a means to generate greater support for and diversify the retail base, neighborhood services and cultural institutions.


Consider real live-work lofts for artists-businesses.

Consider co-operative housing.



3.2.1:   Identify and promote in-fill residential sites for market rate housing development accessible to a broad range of incomes and family-types, e.g., retirees, “middle income”, etc.


3.2.2:   Increase residence base by strongly encouraging family housing (2-3 bedrooms).


3.2.3:   Continue to support the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency to preserve long-term affordable housing, such as the Namiki Apartments, Sutter Apartments and Golden Gate Apartments.


3.2.4:   Assess feasibility of residential development addition to Japan Center.


Rethink Kintetsu-Kinokuniya Malls and Kabuki and Trade Center—Put residential on top—maybe start over with updated mixed use. It might not make sense to renovate the existing malls, but it might make sense to build new developments.


Objective 3.3    Encourage neighborhood-serving businesses (e.g., laundry, bakery, professional services, cafes, etc.).


3.3.1:   Convert the koban into a neighborhood- and visitor-serving retail and information booth such as international newsstand, flower shop or espresso stand with neighborhood/tourism information booth.


3.3.2:   Develop a monthly Farmers’ and/or Flower Market in an open space, e.g., the Buchanan Mall.


Great idea! Look at the Civic Center and Jack London Square models. Perhaps incorporate ceramic/art sales?


3.3.3:   Attract high-quality dry goods, household products or general store(s) that enhance or share affinity with the Japanese/Japanese American culture that exists in Japantown.


3.3.4:   Open Japan Center walls at Post Street to encourage more pedestrian-friendly retail, including open cafes, sidewalk activities, etc.


Objective 3.4    Promote neighborhood safety at all hours of the day.



Laguna and Bush-robbers hiding behind bushes and trees.


Cottage Row-between Sutter and Post unsafe at night.


Sutter, Laguna and Post-people robbing cars (tourist cars)


3.4.1:   Work with Nihonmachi Merchants Association private security and San Francisco Police Department to ensure coordination and effectiveness of security enforcement.

a.   Provide neighborhood safety reports for residents, to be posted online and on residential bulletin boards.

b.   Increase communication between private security and Police Department.

c.   Provide safety information in strategic locations.

d.   Ensure patrol presence/visibility throughout the neighborhood.


3.4.2:   Utilize landscaping to improve security.

a.   Enhance street lighting.

b.   Trim existing trees to create safe open space for pedestrians.


3.4.3:   Adopt a children safety zone program, such as Kampaign Kidz to promote community awareness and safe havens.


3.4.4:   Provide a multi-lingual safety manual for visitors and new residents.

a.   Include information on laws and regulations that affect local residents.

b.   Provide emergency numbers and descriptions of city resources/services.

c.   Safety tips for living in San Francisco.


3.4.5:   Support arts (creation and showcasing) as a way of having nighttime activities and foot traffic.


Create calendar of events that gets posted next to the Koban (ties in with 3.5.2) AND map of arts organizations (AATC, Locus Arts, Romeo’s, JCCCNC, etc.) and businesses


Would the Merchant’s Association be willing to provide funding, discount coupons, etc. to arts organizations and venues?


3.4.6:   Ensure the strategic location of public telephones for people to use in case of emergency.


Objective 3.5    Sustain, strengthen, and expand existing community-based organizations and institutions, and systems of social support and services.


Encourage all businesses and residents to contribute monetarily (donate) to local organizations if they cannot contribute through personal involvement


Ask churches, community groups and associations to sponsor parent/child education classes and events.



3.5.1    Establish a community participation and implementation process for those who live, work, own properties/businesses, socialize in and are concerned about Japantown by creating a systematic approach to community awareness, organizing and accountability.


3.5.2:   Enhance communication/coordination among cbo’s and institutions. 

            a.   Create community-planning calendar to allow coordination of activities scheduling among community-based organizations and institutions.

            b.   Establish communications network/mechanism for mutual support.

            c.   Research possibilities for collaborative funds development.

            d.   Seek collaborative opportunities in funds development, with an appropriate entity taking the lead.


3.5.3:   Ensure continued participation in community activism:


            This information needs to be online!


a.   Identify meaningful roles for youth and young adults within the community by establishing structured opportunities to become active with existing community groups and other community efforts.

b.   Increase the involvement of young adults who become displaced by college and have relocated to the Bay Area, by establishing an easily identifiable process by which to re-engage with the community.


Many college students use their first year out to identify their career paths. I suggest coupling volunteer opportunities with

·        Career development workshops and

·        Roundtables on “How to volunteer in the community while you’re working” and “How to contribute if you have limited time (donations, attendance at events, enrolling your kids in J-town programs, etc.)”


c.   Support/work with existing youth organizations encouraging greater participation in the community.

d.   Create mentorship program to provide entrée to participation in community-based organizations.

e.   Outreach to schools and institutions outside the community to promote participation in Japantown through internships and volunteer programs.


3.5.4:   Ensure ongoing development of community leaders and diversification of organizational leadership to expand and strengthen institutions.

a.   Work with existing board development resources to do outreach to potential participants to community organizations.


Resource: Talk to the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) to learn how to incorporate youth members on to your board.


b.   Encourage the consideration of term limits (directors, board members and management).


3.5.5:   Promote outreach to a regional Japanese American community.

a.       Coordinate/communicate with other Japanese American communities regionally and nationally through established print and electronic media.

b.   Encourage Japantown’s participation in regional interest groups.


3.5.6:   Establish a regional network among faith-, cultural-, athletic- and community-based children and youth programs; high school and university students groups; and parent organizations.





I’d like to see green energy sources used in buildings, even though they are expensive at the outset they pay for themselves in the long run.


Objective 4.1:   Develop a cohesive urban design vision for Japantown by highlighting its center and better defining its edges so that the place is welcoming and visually unique to its surroundings with a streetscape vocabulary that reflects Japantown’s unique history and cultural and community identity.


4.1.1        Give a positive face to and improve access and visibility along Geary Street.


a.   Expand on the possible role of Geary: Sutter is “community,” Post is “commercial.” Geary needs to have a role. Now, it’s just big and hard to cross.

b.   Fill in the “hole” that is Geary at Fillmore. Make it a “corner.”


I agree! Make it a tunnel and build a plaza, rental complex, or multi-unit residences over it!


4.1.2        Reinforce Post Street as Japantown ‘s “main street” for commercial uses.


4.1.3        Reinforce Sutter as the “community street”—a place for meeting and interaction including: 

a.       Concentrate cultural and neighborhood uses along Sutter, taking into account limited space for growth.

b.      Create places for neighborhood meetings, gatherings, and rest, particularly adjacent to cultural institution.

c.       Develop a streetscape vocabulary that expresses the cultural/institutional role of the street.

d.      Protect buildings in non-profit community use by appropriate measures such as zoning, land trusts, et al.


4.1.4        Strengthen entry points and key corners that define the community’s boundaries and that draw people in and welcome them to Japantown.


4.1.5        Give Japantown a positive “face” along Fillmore Street.



Objective 4.2:   Improve and upgrade the physical appearance of Japantown’s commercial district to ensure continued financial viability of Japantown.


4.2.1        Renovate and update Japan Center to 21st Century retail standards including:

a.       Develop access and visibility along Geary.

b.      Strengthen visual and physical connections between the Peace Plaza and the Kinokuniya and Kintetsu malls.

c.       Create a lively, cheerful, “full of light” atmosphere within the Kinokuniya Mall, Miyako Mall and Kintetsu Mall that feels connected to the outer community.

d.      Encourage a facade treatment of the mall buildings that reflects a smaller scale streetscape.

e.      Create a pedestrian flow between the AMC Kabuki 8 Theater and the Kinokuniya Mall building.


4.2.2        Reinforce Post Street as Japantown ‘s “main street” for commercial uses including:

a.       Improve facades and overall streetscape (e.g., provide displays or street gallery spaces).

b.      Encourage building design that conveys transparency and activity.

c.       Develop a streetscape vocabulary that unifies Post Street as the commercial corridor.


4.2.3        Enhance the Buchanan Mall as the heart and center of the community.

a.       Strengthen the connection between the mall and the Peace Plaza.

b.      Establish/identify maintenance program for regular upkeep that enforces community stewardship of the mall.

c.       Strengthen the commercial viability of the Buchanan Mall to become a destination for residents and visitors.

d.      Renovate/update the physical environment to make it more inviting.

e.      Strengthen the approach and entry into the mall along Buchanan Street from the north and south


4.2.4        Give Japantown a positive “face” along Fillmore Street, including: 

a.   Improve facades and overall streetscape along Fillmore in Japantown.

b.      Improve the facade treatment of the AMC theater (e.g., use displays or kiosks) consistent with plans for the Fillmore Jazz District;

c.       Encourage future uses for the Goodwill Building at Post and Fillmore to house Japanese-related business and/or service as a gateway into Japantown.

d.      Coordinate with improvements to the Geary/Fillmore Street Bridge and the Fillmore/O’Farrell Street Plaza.


Give Japantown a positive “face” along Geary Street-with doors, windows, people, shops.


Objective 4.3:   Encourage the design of the buildings, plazas, street furniture, ornament, and landscape to reflect the history of Japantown and to contribute to community identity.


If gardens do happen, consider a Japanese-style edge or entrance, but partner with SLUG for a working community garden that neighbors use and maintain. Better sense of involvement/ownership than a “show” garden and would fill a real need. Plus a playground. 2-3 reasons for people to gather in one space.


Locations Ideas:

·        Hamilton Square (near Hinode Towers)

·        Perhaps future Kokoro site e.g. atrium or garden square

·        Which invites intergenerational activities, children-elders.

·        Otherwise encourage pocket gardens, rather than extensive acreage. 


I think Hamilton Square is up for renovation Rec and Park in next few years. Its not much used as-is.


I think it is so cool to have Japanese red mailbox in J-town and Japanese style bathroom. We can charge this. $1 for one usage? Seriously, this can make money.



4.3.1        Use streetscape design and signage that enhance the cultural identity and historical significance of Japantown.


4.3.2        Streetlights – unique design should act as  identity element for Japantown and enhance safety.


4.3.3        Plant authentic Japanese trees such as cherry, maple, plum, gingko, bamboo, etc., in the Peace Plaza, Buchanan Mall, and along other streets. 


4.3.4        Develop signage guidelines.


Better signage and safer for kids’ use would be a good project to work on, where we live on Laguna between Post and Sutter Streets. Bars that have closing times at 1 and 2am in the morning “send out” youths/drug related activities and fights to residents living on this street. People park on this street and are noisy and rude.  *Parking along this street should be only from 9am-6pm. Otherwise signage “Quiet Zone”.


4.3.5        Use window displays along exterior walls to reflect and give visibility to the community’s culture and history (traditional/contemporary motifs; theme-oriented displays).  Involve local/young artists.


4.3.6        Provide better space and visibility for cultural institutions. 


4.3.7        Conduct an historic preservation study of significant buildings (e.g., the YWCA) to determine their eligibility for landmark status.


4.3.8        Incorporate Japanese motifs into building design.


4.3.9        Provide a comprehensive map of the community, with locations of community facilities and services, as well as businesses placed strategically on the street.  Translate to in-hand maps. 


Objective 4.4:   Provide a streetscape that is safe, lively, pleasant, and comfortable.




The outdoor mall area that has been renovated recently is a wonderful space for events, however when it is open the rest of the year, we have found it to not be child friendly and there are no barriers or limitations on where children can play safely. Summer time I noticed many school groups visit Japantown and this is the prime area where they choose to eat lunch or meet. The other area is the cobblestone/fountain area. It is not child friendly nor safe for seniors or children. More designated area’s are needed and requested from parents like me.


Allow a couple of little Japanese noodle stands in Buchanan Mall or the Peace Plaza.


Plant small bushes like Azaleas? To add more green and colors.


4.4.1        Repair/replace heaved sidewalks.


4.4.2        Re-design cobblestone “river” through Buchanan Mall to provide a safer and more inviting walking surface.


I agree. The “river” is a safety hazard and should be replaced/redesigned ASAP



            I totally agree with this. Even young people (me) feel unsecure.     


4.4.3        Use uniform signage that identifies and creates unity throughout Japantown and facilitates wayfinding.


4.4.4        Use/maintain street trees whose height and canopy do not block lighting or storefront signage.


4.4.5        Use a family of light fixtures including both pedestrian- as well as vehicular- scale lights.


Create green space or park a la Japanese tea gardens that can serve as a quiet, peaceful, respite area versus noise, wind, sun, crowds of Peace Plaza.


I agree! We need more greens! Especially Peace Plaza. The impression of the Peace Plaza should be changed.


4.4.6        Plant street trees and provide cohesive signage along Geary.


4.4.7        Place newsracks in an aesthetic and logical arrangement.


4.4.8        Use irrigation and planting methods that encourage deep rooting.


4.4.9        Use a color and intensity of light that ensures safety and distinguishes major from residential streets.


4.4.10    Clarify the form and image of Webster Street and improve signage in the median.


4.4.11    Utilize center islands on Webster Street between Bush and Geary for public art or landscaping that reinforces Japantown identity.


Reduce Webster Street between Geary and Bush to two lanes. Release right-of-way back to community for open space and economic development.



Objective 4.5:   Provide sufficient open space and playgrounds for residents and visitors.



4.5.1        Identify opportunities for additional open space.


4.5.2        Strengthen visual and physical connections between the Peace Plaza and the interior of the Japantown Center Mall (i.e., the Kinokuniya and Kintetsu malls).


4.5.3        Strengthening the physical and visual connection between the Peace Plaza and the Buchanan Mall.


4.5.4        Renovate the Buchanan Mall. 


Create dichondra for people to sit on.


Objective 4.6: Provide easy access to Japantown for all ages¾by foot, car, bicycle, and public transportation.



4.6.1        Post Street

a.       Slow traffic on Post through traffic calming measures.

b.      Improve the safety and visibility of the crossing of Post Street at Buchanan through the use of curb extensions, pedestrian paving in the crosswalk, a highly visible traffic signal. 

c.       Improve signage to off-street parking facilities on Post. 

d.      Provide protected resting-places for wheelchairs, et al., on the Webster Street medians.


4.6.2        Geary Boulevard

a.       Improve visual cues on Geary (e.g., in the tunnel) and Sutter Street to signal the approach and arrival at Japantown.

b.      Use signage and other cues to identify Geary as the primary entry into the Japan Center parking garage.

c.       Accommodate needs of people with disabilities and elders.

d.      Increase crossing time.

e.   Widen center medians at pedestrian intersections.

f.    Create at-grade pedestrian crossing at Webster Street. and modify center meridian with protected resting places for wheelchairs

g.   Use trees, banners, and other elements to create a pedestrian scale on Geary between Laguna and Webster.

h.   Slow traffic on the Geary Street frontage road. 

i.    Improve auto access from Geary Boulevard eastbound into Japantown.

j.    Remove overhead pedestrian bridge at Webster.

k.   Slow traffic on Geary Boulevard.


4.6.3        Buchanan Street

a.       Increase signage and other visual cues at Buchanan on Geary, Post, Sutter, Bush and Pine to draw and direct transit riders and auto drivers into Japantown. 

b.      Create a clear and continuous pedestrian corridor along Buchanan between Sutter and Geary.


4.6.4   Develop ongoing relationship with Muni.

a.  Maintain high quality of service, i.e., regular routes, and adequate stops nearby.

           b.   Explore possibility of special routes, e.g., Shuttle Bus to the Consulate General (50 Fremont Street).


Crucial issue! family/children/youth focus important-bringing families into community is essential to sustaining J-town.       


            Based on personal observation, both the Japanese non-profit and small businesses need to put their differences aside and work together to promote and preserve SF’s Japantown.



Why is word “spiritual” used?  Why not “religious” and/or “social”?



            It would be wonderful if goal 1 could be realized. I am a Japanese-Canadian from Japan. I came to the States with a dream. I’ve been having a hard time finding a place where I can do my artwork. I hope Strategies 1.2.2 and 1.2.3 would be realized. (Strongly)


Should move up in priority. Change physical site/forum to showcase the cultural life of this center. Would help manifest many of the ideas listed under objective 1.


I think it is critical to develop such a space to encourage arts as a means to strengthen and unite the JA community of all ages.


The creation of a permanent cultural/performance facility is absolutely critical to both the community and its artists. I assert that this “strategy” be prioritized.


Who owns the buildings/equipment; is this changing municipal holding or community/private owned? (This should be clarified in order to ensure control over future of the property, no matter the fiscal health of city hall.


Should be the highest priority within this goal. A cultural and performance center would provide the space for many of the other strategies within this goal. It would also help provide a destination for the visitor/tourist objective under Goal 2. Since many cultural/performance activities would occur during the evening, it would contribute to making the neighborhood even more lively and increasing safety.



(b) Great idea. Needs visibility in the community. Need to be publicized.


(d) Excellent idea.



Great idea


There are many Korean American Businesses in the area-how will their existence be addressed?


It’s a good idea. Why don’t you provide tour program to JANM?



Nice to have collaboration with Artists!! and CBOS!!


Business practices: Issues of accepting checks for purchases.


How will you enhance “cultural ID”? Will it be iconic; it’s a small world a la Disney? How will you form brand identity?



Should be the highest priority within this goal and should include a strategy which is suggested in 2.6. Objective 2.1 can more easily be attained if there are more commercial attractions for the visitor/tourist. Whether or not AMC closes their theater, a major Japanese retailer (like Kinokuniya) should be lured here. I recently visited Tokyo and there were several retailers that were very popular such as  “Tokyo Hands.” This retailer would appeal to the entire community of the Bay Area.



I think it’s a good idea about *open* cafes on Buchanan Mall, coffee shops (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf), it’s very good! Or even restaurants (bistros) with tables and chairs located outside.



There is a Farmer’s market in San Jose Japantown on Sunday mornings.



Supporting the arts through the creation of a performance facility would enhance the safety of the neighborhood (increased nighttime activities and foot traffic).                      



The Obon dance day by the Merchant’s Association was wonderful!



The two fountains in Buchanan Mall are lovely, but very unfriendly, cold and wet. They prevent people from sitting, relaxing in the mall.


Buchanan Mall and Peace Plaza not appropriate for children to play-need area for kids-safe play.


The Japantown outside mall is a wonderful space to use for all kinds of events.